Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington | Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum

Collections: Objects of the Month

November 2012:
Photograph of Walter Washington and Janice Eichhorn, 1973

Photo of Walter Washington and Janice EichhornObject No. 2011.2.32
Donor: Diane Liebert
Description: Photograph of D.C. Mayor Walter Washington presenting Janice Eichhorn with a framed letter that thanks her for Home Rule efforts, October 11, 1973

Background: Jan Eichhorn first arrived in Washington from Illinois in 1964 to work for her local Congressman, Ken Grey, but by the early 1970s, her focus had shifted. She became entrenched in Washington, D.C.'s struggle for Home Rule and representation in Congress. Eichhorn became the executive director of the Self-Determination for DC Coalition, which lobbied for Home Rule on behalf of more than 80 organizations. After Home Rule legislation passed in 1974, Eichhorn continued her political activism, serving as the first Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner of Ward 6B (South side of Capitol Hill to the Anacostia River), delegate to the DC Statehood Constitutional Convention, and remaining an active member of local Democratic organizations.

Eichhorn's devotion to her community was not only political.  She became involved in the Washington DC Jewish Community Center when it first returned to the city and served on its board from 1985 to 1990. Additionally, she formed Friends of Tyler School, an after-school mentoring and tutoring program near Barney Circle in 1990. The program, now called Jan's Tutoring House in her memory, has served more than 300 students.